Now that it appears likely that some form of healthcare reform legislation will be enacted this year, it’s important to remember that true healthcare reform begins with an increased emphasis on patient safety. This is not accomplished by tort reform measures that only serve to penalize the injured. Medical malpractice cases will be reduced when medical errors are reduced.
The American Association for Justice is highlighting this fact with a new patient safety website. The new site notes that 98,000 people die each year from preventable medical errors. According to the website, that’s equivalent to two 737 jetliners crashing every single day. Would we blame the passengers for such an airline crash? Of course, we wouldn’t so why would we penalize patients when they are the victims of medical errors?